mania

My Psychiatrist’s Reaction to EMPowerplus/Truehope Treatment

→ December 30, 2013 - 5 Comments

My Psychiatrist’s Reaction to EMPowerplus/Truehope Treatment

I was really nervous to have to tell my doctor that I had decided to take the Truehope product EMPowerplus. I was pretty sure he was going to either laugh or chastise me out of his office. My anxiety about it was so bad that I didn’t want to mention it at all. Of course, that would have been a poor decision. Allowing anxiety to override your logic is never the right call.

So I told him and surprisingly, he was nonplussed. He just sort of said, “Alright then.”

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A Bipolar Holiday Guide for Stability over the Holidays

→ December 18, 2013 - 43 Comments

A Bipolar Holiday Guide for Stability over the Holidays

It is not lost on me that next week is the holidays. Whether you’re religious, or, like me, just like a finely-dressed tree, there tends to be a lot going on.

So here is a bipolar holiday guide on maintaining bipolar stability over the holidays, which, as we all know, can be tough.

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Creating Art through the Manias and Depressions of Bipolar Disorder

→ November 20, 2013 - 8 Comments

Creating Art through the Manias and Depressions of Bipolar Disorder

The Bipolar Burble blog welcomes guest author somePlaywrights, a collaboration of two writers based in Annapolis and Brooklyn, who face, seemingly weekly, a struggle to succeed as a creative, bipolar collaboration.

On its own, the practice of creating art is bizarre: fusing this abstract feeling with that concrete image, trying to convince others of something only you can see, and all the while endeavoring to balance concept with content. With the addition of bipolar disorder, a condition that is just as, if not more, slippery, firm, and fleeting, the artistic process often teeters between genius and delusion, between coherence and disunion. It is in this realm, where mania meets medium and depression intersects with artistic production, that we, as bipolar artists, must carve and claim our collective space…

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Calling all Manic Folks in the UK

→ September 10, 2013 - 15 Comments

Calling all Manic Folks in the UK

Hi all.

Today I need to ask for your help. I’ve been asked to participate in another documentary – and I’m honored to do this. The documentarian is from CB Films and is working with Channel 4 in the UK.

The thing is, he’s looking for a person suffering from a manic episode who’s in the UK. Now, obviously, this is a big ask. In my experience it’s difficult to anticipate mania and once hypomania or mania rears its ugly head, it needs to be dealt with promptly and not allowed to continue.

All that being said, the documentarion is searching for someone suffering from a manic episode who is willing to be filmed during their episode.

Yup, that’s a toughie.

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Motivation and Bipolar Disorder

→ February 20, 2013 - 29 Comments

Motivation and Bipolar Disorder

The way I see it, bipolar disorder presents a problem with motivation (you know, among all the other bipolar problems). Many people in acute bipolar moods suffer from too much, unrestrained motivation or no motivation at all. Either way you slice it, it’s a bitch.

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What Does Bipolar Hypomania Feel Like?

→ November 2, 2012 - 72 Comments

What Does Bipolar Hypomania Feel Like?

Hypomania. People haven’t generally heard of that word, but once they have, they want to know, what does bipolar hypomania feel like? This is a reasonable question with a completely unreasonable answer.

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Top 10 Bipolar Burble Posts of 2011

→ January 2, 2012 - 6 Comments

Best Bipolar Burble ArticlesLast year was a great one here at the Bipolar Burble and saw a dramatic rise in audience numbers, so welcome readers, new and old. This means that debates were fast and sometimes fierce here on the Burble, and mostly, that’s OK with me. Although it did require the invocation of commenting rules, it also meant that more people had their say on mental illness topics.

So, without further ago, here is the top 10 list of articles people read in 2011:

  1. Worst Things to Say to a Person with a Mental Illness – number one with a bullet two years running is this piece which is a continuation of a piece I wrote on Breaking Bipolar. Everyone, it seems, wants to know what not to say to a person with a mental illness.
  2. Bipolar Disorder Type I: Mania and Delusions of Grandeur – this piece was written at the behest of a reader and includes readers’ experiences of delusions of grandeur during bipolar manic episodes.  This is a topic not widely deal with elsewhere.
  3. Doctors Should Treat the Mentally Ill Without Consent – this highly commented-on and contentious article outlines why I think it’s reasonable to treat the mentally ill without consent in some situations. In spite of all the controversy, I still consider this position reasonable.
  4. Self-Diagnosing Hypomania – I had no idea this article would be so popular, but people are looking for this information. This piece is about how to see hypomania coming or to know once it’s already here.
  5. Suicide Self-Assessment Scale – How Suicidal Are You? – again, I didn’t realize how many people were looking for this information. However, this article is designed to point out warning signs and track one’s own suicidal feelings. It can be hard to tell how severe suicidal feelings are and this scale is designed to help.
  6. How to Get Off Antidepressants Effexor/Pristiq (Venlafaxine/Desvenlafaxine) – this is an update to an article I had written a couple of years earlier and is a huge source of Google hits. I hate to make blanket statements about antidepressants, but it really seems like venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine (Effexor and Prisiq) are bitches to get all for almost everyone.
  7. Depression, Bipolar – Feeling Along with a Mental Illness – this is a feeling that I, and I think everyone with a mental illness, has had. This piece addresses the idea that those with a mental illness are “alone” or are “freaks.”
  8. Psychiatric Myths Dispelled by Doctor – Fighting Antipsychiatry – this is one of the most controversial posts here on the Burble due to the seeming war between those who consider themselves antipsychiatry and those who don’t. This piece earned the most comments, with almost 100 pieces of feedback on this article.
  9. Depression and Lack of Want, Desire – unfortunately, may people with depression experience anhedonia – the innability to feel pleasure. This tends to lead to a lack of want for anything. It’s a devastating condition that I have battled for years.
  10. Bipolar Terminology – The Difference Between Bipolar 1 and 2 – finally, at the number 10 spot we have a piece I wrote not long ago about the difference between bipolar I and bipolar II. This answers one of the basic questions people ask about bipolar disorder every day.

As I’ve said, I consider 2011 to have been a break-out year for the Bipolar Burble and I thank you all for being a part of it.

And don’t forget, if you have questions or if there are subjects you would like addressed here at the Burble, you are welcome to contact me anytime or leave a comment. I am at your service.

Bipolar Terminology: The Difference Between Bipolar I and Bipolar II

→ October 5, 2011 - 53 Comments

Bipolar Terminology: The Difference Between Bipolar I and Bipolar II

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in research, I forget some people are looking for some introductory information like the different between the types of bipolar disorder. Thanks to commenter on my GooglePlus feed, I was reminded of this fact and I decided to answer her question here so I could give her more detail.

Bipolar Terminology

Unfortunately, within bipolar terminology resides more bipolar terminology. But don’t be scared, I have information on most terms on my site and I shall try to walk gently into that good encyclopedia.

But let’s try to get rid of the terminology confusion: What is the difference between bipolar type I and bipolar type II?

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Mixed Moods in Bipolar Disorder and Depression in the DSM-V

→ August 16, 2011 - 2 Comments

Mixed Moods in Bipolar Disorder and Depression in the DSM-V

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the manual that defines all mental illness in the US, is being revised and a new version is due out in 2013. One of the proposed changes to the DSM is to the diagnosis of mixed moods. This change is being proposed by a mood disorders workgroup. It aims to reflect clinical practice where doctors already refer to a “mixed” mood that doesn’t officially meet the DSM criteria. (As I noted, mixed moods are only technically recognized in bipolar type 1.)

Changes to the mixed mood diagnosis will help people with bipolar 1, bipolar 2 and unipolar depression get better treatment.

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Mixed Bipolar Disorder – Mixed Mood Episodes in Bipolar 1

→ August 8, 2011 - 27 Comments

Mixed Bipolar Disorder – Mixed Mood Episodes in Bipolar 1

Ask a Bipolar – What is a mixed mood in bipolar disorder?

As one of the Burble’s commenters mentioned, there seems to be a lack of good information on mixed moods available. After some Googling, I would tend to agree. While mixed mood episodes are pretty common for us bipolar folk, few people seem to be discussing it.

This is the beginning of a four-part series on mixed moods in bipolar disorder:

What is a Mixed Mood Episode?

By definition, a mixed mood in bipolar disorder is the presence of both depression and mania. According to the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), mixed moods are only present in bipolar disorder type 1 as mixed moods require the presence of mania.

Mixed mood episodes are (officially) found in bipolar disorder 1 and are characterized by:

  • Persons must meet both the criteria for mania and major depression; the depressive event is required to be present for 1 week only.
  • The mood disturbance results in marked disruption in social or vocation function.
  • The mood is not the result of substance abuse or a medical condition.

Mixed mood episodes are officially considered part of the manic phase of bipolar disorder.

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Bipolar Disorder Type I: Mania and Delusions of Grandeur

→ April 8, 2011 - 113 Comments

Bipolar Disorder Type I: Mania and Delusions of Grandeur

Not long ago the Bipolar Burble had a commenter ask me about delusions of grandeur in mania as a part of bipolar disorder. She was feeling alone in her experiences and so was hesitant to talk about her own delusions of grandeur during mania.

I’m not familiar with delusions of grandeur in mania and bipolar disorder so I looked it up and I asked if anyone had stories of their mania and delusions of grandeur. Naturally, my lovely readers provided.

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Caffeine and Mental Illness and Caffeine Disorders

→ February 21, 2010 - 13 Comments

Caffeine and Mental Illness and Caffeine Disorders

Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive substance. So many of us love it a la Starbucks, Tim Hortons or just out or our home coffee machine. Me, I love coffee and I’m a fan of caffeine too. Coffee’s the nectar of the gods and nothing will convince me otherwise.

It seems though, caffeine can actually hurt you. I know, I never thought my beloved coffee could harm me, but I suppose anything that you abuse, will abuse you back. So, here is everything you ever needed to know about caffeine, caffeine disorders and caffeine and mental illness but were afraid to ask.

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